Where Did The Crows Go?

Crows at sunrise in Melton (photo by It’s No Game via Flickr Creative Commons license)

31 January 2021

We have a mystery here in Pittsburgh.

Since last fall a winter flock of 10,000 to 20,000 crows has staged and roosted in or near Oakland. On 16 January I counted 4,000 flying over Schenley Park golf course on their way to the roost. Nine days later, on 25 January, I saw only two crows.

Only 2! The crows are not staging in Oakland and they no longer fly over Schenley Park. I know they’re here somewhere because it’s too early for them to leave town. Where they heck are they?

I tried to find out without driving all over town. On Friday evening I watched from the roof deck at sunset. The only crows in the sky were very far away, flying down the Monongahela River toward town, probably visible from Hazelwood and Greenfield.

Where were those crows going? Where are the rest of them? Where are they sleeping?

If you know the answer please leave a message. Believe it or not I miss them.

(photo by It’s No Game on Flickr via Creative Commons license; click on the caption to see the original)

23 thoughts on “Where Did The Crows Go?

  1. Don’t know if this helps or not, but seen a big flock of them on the South Hills Country Club greens along Brownsville Road on Wednesday Jan 27th around 5pm

    1. For two or three days, C R O W SSSSS. …. on Allegheny river at Heinz Lofts. A cacophony in the morning. 6 AM …..We have lived here several years and this is the first time they’ve visited. It’s after 7 and they seem to be quieting down.

    2. Diana, WOW! Thanks for the tip. I plan to come over there to see them in late afternoon.

    3. from the other comments, it looks like maybe you’re already investigating this, but i walked along the north shore trail yesterday from herr’s island to the rachel carson bridge, and as i got nearer to the north shore, there were a *lot* of white splotches all over the trail whenever there was a tree overhead. clearly a huge concentration of birds, and recently—since the snow melted. crows are the only thing i could think of.

      i still see plenty of them in allegheny cemetery whenever i go there (once or twice a week; sometimes dozens, sometimes hundreds, don’t know the pattern), and every so often they fly over my house by the thousands still (i’m in bloomfield, between the cemetery and oakland). but lately, i’ve seen them more flying along the allegheny. i assumed they were headed to the hill above bigelow, but now that i think about it, they were probably on the other side of the river where i can see them (around and west of 40th street).

      oh, and also! i saw a pair of ravens on and near a building right on penn at 31st. stopped me dead in my tracks!

    4. David, yes I’ve been over there to look, though only at dusk while they’re coming in. Thanks for your observations (the raven news is awesome!). I plan to write about the crows tomorrow 2/9/21.

  2. Larger than normal (8+-) flew from Homestead Waterfront to Munhall Library on Thursday evening. I’d guess about 50+-. Also saw a flock on DiscoverPittsburgh webcam heading out of town and up over the North Side towards UnionDale Cemetery.

  3. I’ve been watching the crows fly from the east/southeast over the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, over Beechwood Blvd., headed towards Oakland.

  4. Hi Kate, any chance they would mingle with the flocks in the West End of the City? They seem more noticeable/numerous this year, near Chartiers Creek/McKees Rocks. They’ve been descending along the Windgap Bridge area, foraging during the day. I’m always afraid they’ll be hit by speeding cars, it’s a dangerous area for wildlife.

  5. Over the past month or so I’ve watched something curious: for the past several years, a huge ‘river’ of crows would fly roughly above Wilkins Ave. heading toward Oakland in the 45 minutes to one hour before sunset. Then this year, there seemed to be fewer of them and several times they staged in trees on Kipling before taking off again, flying above Wilkins. New since Christmas, there’s a second ‘river’ that looks to be flying over Beeler, possibly heading toward CMU/Schenley Park. This second grouping is smaller than the first, though. But in the past week, I haven’t noticed many late-afternoon crows in these flight patterns at all but am hearing about them on the North Side.

  6. I’ve seen a larger amount than usual the past couple months here in Mt. Washington! Prior years I hadn’t notice the large amount like this year. I love watching them also!

  7. I have seen these crows since about October in oakland at the Peterson event center coming in at night and roosting in the trees. Thousands of them. Then they were gone about 10 days ago.

  8. Kate, just this evening (Feb 4) I saw a steady stream of crows (many hundreds of crows) flying for many minutes from the direction of Squirrel Hill and over my house in Greenfield, heading to the west-southwest, towards the Mon.

  9. Yeah they’re all over the north side! I see thousands every evening lately flying east-ish from my home near AGH.

  10. This was a couple weeks ago, but I was visiting my family in Wilken Township/Churchill area and when I got out of the car I saw a bunch of crows flying. I didn’t think they were crows at first because I never saw so many together before. I watched for 10 min as groups just continued a couple hundred at a time fly over the house. They were headed in the direction of Forest Hill / Wilkensburgh. I love crows and I have to saw I was in awe at the amount.

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